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Entertainment news: 'Moonlight,' Colton Haynes, 'In-Betweens,' Abby Wambach
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2017-02-21

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The Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ) recently honored Moonlight with its Visionary Award at its Greater New York Gala, On Top Magazine noted. Based on Tarell Alvin McCraney's play In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue, Moonlight—written and directed by Barry Jenkins—follows an African-American man ( played by Trevante Rhodes ) who struggles to come out gay over three periods of his life while growing up in a rough neighborhood of Miami. McCraney accepted the award on behalf of the film.

The screenplay for Moonlight and the scripts for The Americans and Atlanta were among the winners of this year's Writers Guild Awards, Page Six noted. Oscar nominee Eric Heisserer of Arrival won for best adapted screenplay. Best documentary screenplay went to Command and Control, based on a telescript by Robert Kenner and Eric Schlosser and story by Brian Pearle and Kim Roberts.

Actor Colton Haynes ( Arrow; Teen Wolf ) is officially off the market after going public with his relationship on Valentine's Day, NewNowNext.com reported. The star shared the news in an Instagram post that featured Haynes wrapped in the arms of his new boyfriend, celebrity florist Jeff Leatham. Together, the pair can be seen looking at the sunset while standing in a heart made of rose petals.

The award-winning documentary Kings, Queens, & In-Betweens—which focuses on the drag kings, drag queens and transgender performers in Columbus, Ohio—will receive a national VOD launch on March 7 ( including iTunes, Amazon and Google Play ), as well as a limited theatrical release on March 3, a press release noted. Director Gabrielle Burton is a Wexner Center for the Arts artist residency fellow who won the Ohio Arts Council's Artist of Excellence award in filmmaking, and was selected to give a TEDx talk on the film.

Retired lesbian soccer star Abby Wambach and best-selling author and Christian mom blogger Glennon Doyle Melton announced their engagement last week, according to an LGBTQ Nation item that cites The Washington Post. "Abby and I have decided to hold hands forever," Melton wrote on Facebook. "Happy. #iseethemoonnow," Wambach added. The couple announced they were dating last November, shortly after Melton and Wambach ended their marriages—to a man and a woman, respectively.

Point Foundation will honor Orange Is the New Black actress Uzo Aduba and Oscar-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black on April 3 in New York City, according to a press release. Aduba will receive the Point Courage Award, while Black ( behind the forthcoming ABC miniseries When We Rise ) will be honored with the Point Leadership Award.

After releasing a new single, "Chained to the Rhythm," and her second CoverGirl make-up collection, singer Katy Perry is taking the fashion world by storm with a 39-piece shoe collection, Us Weekly noted. Each shoe in the footwear line is named after women who inspire Perry, including former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. The millennial-pink—colored shoe, which costs $139, has a see-through blocked heel and gold star accents.

Michelle Rodriguez has been cast in New Regency's heist thriller Widows from Brit helmer Steve McQueen. She'll join Oscar-nominated Viola Davis in the picture along with Cynthia Erivo. The story begins when four armed robbers are killed during a failed heist and their surviving widows join forces and resolve to pull off the next raid themselves.

The cult film Jawbreaker has been greenlighted as a scripted series for E! Television, NewNowNext.com noted. The show will be overseen by Darren Stein, who wrote and directed the 1999 movie, with help from writer George Northy, who penned the script for Stein's 2013 gay teen comedy, G.B.F. Turning iconic black teen comedies into TV shows is something of a trend these days: TV Land is prepping a small screen version of the 1988 classic Heathers, which saw Winona Ryder and Christian Slater squaring off against the most popular girls in school.

Aaron Carter is addressing claims he was attacked onstage over racial comments made against the singer's opening act, E! Online noted. The former child star was performing at the Looney Bin in Bradley, Illinois, when a member of Ill State, the group who preceded Carter's set, jumped onstage and attacked Carter over an allegedly racial remark, TMZ reported. "This dude sized me up after I said he had to go and said bye Felipe—like bye Felicia, [but] the male version. ... He needed to go," Carter tweeted. Aaron then defended himself against accusations of racism, tweeting, "News flash my band consists of three amazing black funk musicians and an Italian guitar player from Italy."

Speaking with PrideSource in advance of the show's March 5 debut, Susan Sarandon was coy about her own love life, The Huffington Post noted. The Academy Award winner—who split from her longtime partner, Tim Robbins, in 2009—simply said she's very "open." Noting that it "just was much more open" in the 1960s, she added, "My sexual orientation is up for grabs, I guess you could say."

Former Grey's Anatomy actress Sara Ramirez took to Twitter to slam the ABC show The Real O'Neals for a joke about bisexuals, Us Weekly noted. Ramirez, who came out in October last year, spoke out about a January 17 episode of the ABC sitcom that featured Noah Galvin's character, Kenny, who is openly gay, comparing bisexuality to having "webbed toes" or "money problems." Galvin addressed the joke after the episode aired, tweeting that the show "respects and loves the bi community," adding, "I am sorry if we offended anyone. I hope you know our show fights for visibility and inclusivity and we will do better in the future. BUT, we also have to remember, it's a comedy." Ramirez also shared a petition on Change.org calling on ABC to end biphobia and bi-erasure on The Real O'Neals.

The HBO Films presentation The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks will debut Saturday, April 22, according to a press release. Oprah Winfrey and Rose Byrne star in this adaptation of Rebecca Skloot's critically acclaimed, bestselling nonfiction book of the same name. The film tells the story of Henrietta Lacks, an African-American woman whose cells were used to create the first immortal human cell line.

John Waters ( Hairspray; Pink Flamingos ) received the Career Achievement in Writing Award from the Writers Guild of America ( WGA ) on Feb. 19, Deadline noted. Waters gave a thank-you speech that ranged from acknowledging his own weirdness and love of weirdness in all humanity to an endorsement of the WGA and its efforts on behalf of fellow writers. "I'd like to close with a line I wrote for Patty Hearst," he said. " 'Make a list of all the people you f!cked and apologize to their parents.' See? I got an award for writing that line."

Angela Lansbury—who has starred in a number of Disney films over her long career—has just joined the cast of Rob Marshall's sequel Mary Poppins Returns, and will portray the Balloon Lady, Deadline noted. Mary Poppins Returns stars Emily Blunt, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ben Whishaw, Emily Mortimer and Julie Walters, with Colin Firth and Meryl Streep also in the film as well as original Disney favorite Dick Van Dyke. The film is scheduled for release Christmas Day 2018.

During an appearance on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, Ryan Murphy revealed that season seven of American Crime Story will be based on the recent presidential election, Deadline reported. When asked if there would be a character based on Donald Trump, Murphy—who was there to promote his upcoming series Feud—replied, "Maybe." Additionally, Edgar Ramirez and Darren Criss were cast in Versace: American Crime Story, the third installment in Murphy's second anthology series for FX. Ramirez is set to play Gianni Versace, with Criss taking on the role of sociopath and serial killer Andrew Cunanan.

New Yorkers can now travel down the road ( and back again ) to a new Golden Girls-inspired restaurant, EW.com noted. Inspired by the life and legacy of one of the renowned television show's late stars, Rue McClanahan, the Rue La Rue Café has opened in Manhattan's Washington Heights neighborhood, serving nostalgia, beer and cheesecake slices inspired by each of the show's iconic characters. Co-owned by McClanahan's son, Mark Bish, and the actress' longtime friend, Michael J. LaRue, the eatery got its name from a time-tested inside joke.

Sony Classical will release a new 25-CD box set titled Leonard Bernstein: The Composer that celebrates the late, award-winning conductor and composer ( 1918-1990 ), Playbill noted. In addition to newly remixed versions of the original Bernstein Conducts Bernstein recordings, the mammoth collection includes a selection of the composer's songs performed by Marilyn Horne, Frederica Von Stade, Harolyn Blackwell, Joshua Bell, Wynton Marsalis and Yo-Yo Ma. Leonard Bernstein: The Composer will be released in United States on March 31.

For Valentine's Day, Mariah Carey posted a photo of her and reputed boyfriend Bryan Tanaka in a hot tub together, US Weekly noted. Carey, 46, and her shirtless younger beau, 33, raised their glasses of champagne in the photo. "Happy Valentine's Day!! #happyvalentinesdays #happy #moments #bubbles," she wrote along with some heart emojis.

Producers Michael De Luca and Jennifer Todd announced eight key members of the production team for the 89th Oscars, which will air live Sunday, Feb. 26, on ABC, a press release noted. A few of the members include Rob Paine, who has been associated with the Oscars telecast for more than 20 years and returns as the supervising producer; Billy Kimball, back for his second year as writer; and Raj Kapoor, who joins the Oscars for the first time designing screen content and performances. Jimmy Kimmel will host the event.

Academy Award-winning actor Jared Leto will make his feature-length scripted directorial debut with Paramount and Wolf Films' 77, EW.com noted. The film is set in 1974 Los Angeles, telling the story of two police officers who, while investigating the murder of a fellow officer, join forces to hunt for the famed kidnapped heiress Patty Hearst.

Fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld let his thoughts be known to WSJ Magazine, Page Six noted. At one point, he said, "Fashion people are fashion, they are not politics." Referring to German chancellor Angela Merkel, he said, "Maybe her clothes are horrible, but she is not in fashion, hmm?" Lagerfeld also said, "I knew [Donald] Trump before, when he was not in politics. I'm not American, but he's a democratically elected president … so people have to deal with it."

WNBA player Elena Delle Donne ( formerly with the Chicago Sky and now with the Washington Mystics ) and fiancee Amanda Clifton ( director of the De11e Donne Academy ) will be the first same-sex recipients of The Knot Dream Wedding, Us Weekly noted. The Knot, with the help of Brooklyn-based wedding planner Jove Meyer, will plan and host the June nuptials—and fans will choose the couple's honeymoon destination. "We were touched by Elena's relationship with her sister, Lizzie [who was born blind, deaf and with other disabilities], and all of the work she and Amanda do for the Elena Delle Donne Foundation," The Knot editor-in-chief Kellie Gould told Us.

Alec Baldwin, who's been playing Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live, recently impersonated another famous person off-camera, Page Six noted. Spies at that Broadway show Cats said that Baldwin visited the cast backstage and "broke out into a flamboyantly British imitation of the show's creator, Andrew Lloyd Webber."

Maulik Pancholy is the latest out actor to beam aboard Star Trek: Discovery, CBS All Access' upcoming addition to the sci-fi franchise, NewNowNext.com reported. ancholy, best known for his roles on 30 Rock and Weeds, will play Dr. Nambue, the chief medical officer aboard Starship Shenzhou, the ship captained by Michelle Yeoh's character. Anthony Rapp has already been announced as Star Trek's first originally conceived gay character, Lt. Stamets, a scientist aboard the Discovery. ( It's unclear if Nambue will be gay as well. )

Playbill.com will exclusively live-stream the Feb. 25 "Concert for America: Stand Up, Sing Out!," which will feature Ingrid Michaelson, Ellen Burstyn, Ramin Karimloo, Will Chase, Andrea Martin, Dana Ivey, Emily Skinner, Keala Settle and Rema Webb as well as comedians Lizz Winstead and Randy Rainbow. The creation of Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley, the concert event is the second in a monthly series benefiting five national organizations working to protect human rights: Planned Parenthood, Southern Poverty Law Center, National Immigration Law Center, The Sierra Club Foundation and the NAACP.

Actress Bijou Phillips was reportedly taken to a Santa Barbara hospital, ExtraTV.com reported. TMZ reported that Phillips, who had not been feeling well, is in desperate need of a kidney transplant. Her husband, That 70s Show star Danny Masterson, was reportedly by her bedside at the hospital after her fever spiked. Sources told the website that she's been undergoing treatment for an unknown illness.

Ricki Lake's ex-husband Christian Evans has died at 45 after a long struggle with bipolar disorder, RadarOnline.com reported. The TV star broke the news in an Instagram post on Valentine's Day. In part, she wrote, "For anyone who has ever lost a family member or friend to mental illness, my heart goes out to you. I am a greater person for having known him and spent the past 6 and a half years of my life with him." ( They were married from 2012 to 2015. )

International auction house Bonhams ( Bonhams.com ) has announced the 1,000-lot sale of the estate of legendary author Jackie Collins, estimated at $3 million, a press release stated. Jackie Collins: A Life in Chapters will take place May 16-17 in Los Angeles. Among the items up for auction is a bespoke special edition 2002 Jaguar XKR Sportscar, finished in metallic gold.

John Curran is now attached to develop and direct the TV series planned about Lou Pearlman, the manager/producer of NSYNC and the Backstreet Boys who was also running a Ponzi scheme that defrauded investors out of about $300 million, according to Deadline. Toby Jones ( The Hunger Games franchise; The Coldest City ) is attached to star in the series. Curran is completing the film Chappaquiddick, based on Ted Kennedy and the accident that took place that killed Mary Jo Kopechne.

Carlos Santana took to Facebook to "clarify a comment" he made about Beyonce after this year's Grammys, USA Today reported. In an interview ahead of his performances in Australia and New Zealand, the 69-year-old musician said, according to the New Zealand Herald, "I think that Adele won [her Grammys] because she can sing-sing. Beyonce is very beautiful to look at and it's more like modeling kind of music—music to model a dress; she's not a singer-singer, with all respect to her." In apologizing, he stated, "I have the utmost respect for [Beyonce] as an artist and a person. She deserves all the accolades that come her way."

Sam Adegoke is set as a lead opposite Natalie Kelley and Elizabeth Gillies in The CW's Dynasty pilot, a reboot of the iconic 1980s primetime soap, Deadline noted. Co-written by Gossip Girl creators Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage and Sallie Patrick, the new Dynasty follows two of America's wealthiest families, the Carringtons and the Colbys, as they feud for control over their fortune and their children.


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